US5607260A - Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged offshore jacket foundations - Google Patents

Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged offshore jacket foundations Download PDF

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US5607260A
US5607260A US08/501,717 US50171795A US5607260A US 5607260 A US5607260 A US 5607260A US 50171795 A US50171795 A US 50171795A US 5607260 A US5607260 A US 5607260A
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Prior art keywords
deck package
deck
truss
package
lifting
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US08/501,717
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Jon E. Khachaturian
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VERSABAR Inc
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VERSABAR Inc
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Priority to US08/404,421 priority Critical patent/US5609441A/en
Application filed by VERSABAR Inc filed Critical VERSABAR Inc
Priority to US08/501,717 priority patent/US5607260A/en
Assigned to VERSABAR, INC. reassignment VERSABAR, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: KHACHATURIAN, JON E.
Priority claimed from AU50948/96A external-priority patent/AU714518B2/en
Priority claimed from US08/709,014 external-priority patent/US5800093A/en
Publication of US5607260A publication Critical patent/US5607260A/en
Application granted granted Critical
Priority claimed from US08/915,925 external-priority patent/US5975807A/en
Priority claimed from US08/915,617 external-priority patent/US6149350A/en
Priority claimed from US09/530,837 external-priority patent/US6318931B1/en
Priority claimed from US09/454,733 external-priority patent/US6367399B1/en
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B27/00Arrangement of ship-based loading or unloading equipment for cargo or passengers
    • B63B27/16Arrangement of ship-based loading or unloading equipment for cargo or passengers of lifts or hoists
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B35/00Vessels or similar floating structures specially adapted for specific purposes and not otherwise provided for
    • B63B35/003Vessels or similar floating structures specially adapted for specific purposes and not otherwise provided for for transporting very large loads, e.g. offshore structure modules
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B63SHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; RELATED EQUIPMENT
    • B63BSHIPS OR OTHER WATERBORNE VESSELS; EQUIPMENT FOR SHIPPING 
    • B63B77/00Transporting or installing offshore structures on site using buoyancy forces, e.g. using semi-submersible barges, ballasting the structure or transporting of oil-and-gas platforms
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E02HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING; FOUNDATIONS; SOIL SHIFTING
    • E02BHYDRAULIC ENGINEERING
    • E02B17/00Artificial islands mounted on piles or like supports, e.g. platforms on raisable legs or offshore constructions; Construction methods therefor
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E02HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING; FOUNDATIONS; SOIL SHIFTING
    • E02BHYDRAULIC ENGINEERING
    • E02B17/00Artificial islands mounted on piles or like supports, e.g. platforms on raisable legs or offshore constructions; Construction methods therefor
    • E02B2017/0039Methods for placing the offshore structure
    • E02B2017/0047Methods for placing the offshore structure using a barge
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E02HYDRAULIC ENGINEERING; FOUNDATIONS; SOIL SHIFTING
    • E02BHYDRAULIC ENGINEERING
    • E02B17/00Artificial islands mounted on piles or like supports, e.g. platforms on raisable legs or offshore constructions; Construction methods therefor
    • E02B2017/0052Removal or dismantling of offshore structures from their offshore location

Abstract

A method and apparatus for the installation or removal of large multi-ton prefabricated deck packages includes the use of usually two barges defining a base that can support a large multi-ton load. A variable dimensional truss assembly is supported by the barge and forms a load transfer interface between the barge and the deck package. Upper and lower connections form attachments between the truss members and the deck package at upper and lower elevational positions on the deck package. The variable dimension truss includes at least one member of variable length, in the preferred embodiment being a winch powered cable that can be extended and retracted by winding and unwinding the winch.

Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
This is a continuation-in-part of copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 08/404,421, filed Mar. 15, 1995, which is incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to the placement of large multi-ton prefabricated deck packages (e.g. oil and gas platforms, oil rigs) in an offshore environment upon a usually partially submerged jacket that extends between the seabed and the water surface. Even more particularly, the present invention relates to the use of a moving lifting assembly which is preferably barge supported that can place a very large deck package upon an offshore marine jacket foundation without the use of enormous lifting booms such as form a part of derrick barges, offshore cranes, and the like, and wherein a "quick connect" connection is formed between the lifting assembly and the deck package.
2. General Background
In the offshore oil and gas industry, the search for oil and gas is often conducted in a marine environment. Sometimes the search takes place many miles offshore. Oil and gas well drilling takes place in many hundreds of feet of water depth.
The problem of drilling oil wells offshore and then producing these wells has been solved in part by the use of enormous fixed platform structures with foundations that are mostly submerged, but usually extending a number of feet above the water surface. Upon this foundation (or "jacket" as it is called in the art) there is usually placed a very large prefabricated rig or deck platform. The term "deck platform" as used herein should be understood to include any of a large variety of prefabricated structures that are placed on an offshore jacket foundation to form a fixed offshore platform. Thus, a "deck-platform" can include, e.g. a drilling rig, a production platform, a crew quarters, living quarters, or the like.
A supporting jacket is usually a very large multi-chord base formed of multiple sections of structural tubing or pipe that are welded together. Such jackets have been used for a number of years for the purpose of supporting large deck platforms in an offshore environment.
The jacket or foundation is usually prefabricated on land in a fabrication yard, preferably adjacent to a navigable waterway. The completed jacket can be placed upon a large transport barge so that it can be moved to the drill site where it will be placed upon the ocean floor. As an example, an offshore jacket can be several hundred feet in length. The size of the jacket is of course a function of the depth of water in which the rig will be placed. A five hundred (500) foot water depth at the drill site (or production site) will require a jacket which is approximately 500-550 feet tall. The jacket is usually partially submerged, with only a small upper portion of the jacket extending slightly above the water surface. An offshore jacket as described and in its position on the seabed can be seen, for example, in the Blight, et al U.S. Pat. No. 4,252,469 entitled "Method and Apparatus for installing integrated Deck Structure and Rapidly Separating Same from Supporting Barge Means." Specifically, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 of the Blight, et al patent show an offshore jacket on the seabed.
A small upper portion of the jacket extends above the water surface. This exposed portion of the jacket is the portion upon which the "deck platform" is placed and supported by. This upper portion of the jacket is usually equipped with a number of alignment devices which enhance the proper placement of the deck package on the jacket. Such alignment devices are referred to variously as stabbing eyes, sockets, or the like. The use of such alignment devices, sockets, or stabbing eyes can be seen in the Blight, et al U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,252,468 and 4,252,469 as well as in the Kansan U.S. Pat. No. 4,242,011. For purposes of background and reference, the Kansan U.S. Pat. 4,242,011 is incorporated herein by reference. The Blight, et al U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,252,469 and 4,252,468 are likewise each incorporated herein by reference.
Deck platforms can be extremely large and have correspondingly heavy weights. For example, it is not uncommon for a deck platform such as a drilling rig crew quarters, production platform or the like to be between five hundred and five thousand (500 and 5,000) tons gross weight. Such enormous load values present significant problems in the placement of deck platforms on offshore jacket structures. First, the placement is done entirely in a marine environment. While the jacket can be laid on its side and/or floated into position, the platform is not a submersible structure, and must be generally supported in an upright condition above the water surface to prevent water damage to the many components that form a part of the drilling or production platform (such as electrical systems, wall constructions, and other portions that will be inhabited by individuals and used as oil and gas well drilling or production equipment).
The art has typically used enormous derrick barges for the purpose of setting or placing deck packages on jackets in an offshore environment. These derrick barges are large, rectangular barge structures with a high capacity lifting boom mounted at one end portion of the deck of the barge. The barge, for example might be three hundred to four hundred (300-400) feet in length, fifty to seventy five (50-75) feet in width, and twenty-five to fifty (25-50) feet deep. These figures are exemplary.
A derrick barge might have a lifting capacity of for example, eight hundred (800) tons. For very large structures such as for example, a fifteen hundred (1500) ton deck package, two derrick barges can be used, each supporting one side portion of the deck platform with a multi-line lift system supported by an enormous structural boom extending high into the air above the package during the lift.
The boom simply works in the same way as in onshore lifting boom, namely the loadline raises and/or lowers the package into its proper position upon the jacket. While the use of such derrick barges has been very successful in the placing of offshore deck packages on jackets through the years, such derrick barges are generally limited in their capacity to packages of two thousand (2,000) tons or less. Further, derrick barges of such an enormous capacity are extremely expensive to manufacture and operate. Many thousand of dollars per hour as a cost of using such a device is not uncommon.
However, when very large loads of, for example 3,000-4,000 tons are involved, the limitation of the derrick barge usually prohibits such a placement on an offshore jacket. In U.S. Pat. No. 4,714,382 issued to Jon Khachaturian there is disclosed a method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged jacket foundations. The Khachaturian patent uses a variable dimensional truss assembly that is supported by the barge and forms a load transfer interface between the barge and the deck package. Upper and lower connections form attachments between the truss members and the deck package at upper and lower elevational positions on the deck package. The variable dimension truss includes at least one member of variable length, in the preferred embodiment being a winch powered cable that can be extended and retracted by winding and unwinding the winch. Alternate embodiments include the use of a hydraulic cylinder as an example.
An earlier patent, U.S. Pat. No. 2,598,088 issued to H.A. Wilson entitled "Offshore Platform Structure and Method of Erecting Same" discusses the placement of drilling structure with a barge wherein the legs of the drilling structure are placed while the drilling structure is supported by two barges. The Wilson device does note use truss-like lifting assemblies having variable length portions which are placed generally on opposite sides of the deck package. Rather, Wilson relates to a platform which is floated in place and the support legs are then placed under the floating platform. Thus, in the Wilson reference, an in-place underlying supporting jacket is not contemplated.
The Natvig, et al U.S. Pat. No. 3,977,346 discusses a method of placing a deck structure upon a building site such as a pier. The method includes the pre-assembly of a deck structure upon a base structure on land so that the deck structure extends outwardly over a body of water. Floating barges are provided for supporting the deck structure outwardly of the building site. The deck structure is then transferred to the supportive base structure by means of barges. The Natvig reference uses two barges which are placed on opposite sides of a platform with pedestal type fixed supports forming a load transfer member between the barges and the platform. However, the fixed pedestal of Natvig are unlike the truss-like lifting arrangement of applicant which include movable portions at least one of which can be of a variable length.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides an improved method and apparatus for the placement of a multi-ton deck package on an offshore jacket. Also the present invention provides an improved method and apparatus for the removal of a multi-ton deck package from an offshore jacket. The present invention discloses an improvement to the variable dimension truss assembly disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,714,382 incorporated herein by reference. The apparatus includes one or more barges defining a base that supports the large multi-ton load of the deck package.
In the preferred embodiment, a horizontally extending truss is mounted on each side of the deck package to be lifted during operation.
In the preferred embodiment, two barges are used respectively, each having a preferably variable dimension lift truss on its upper deck surface. The truss preferably includes a member of variable length so that the cross-sectional dimensions of the truss can be varied.
The truss forms thus a load transfer between each barge and the deck package to be lifted and placed. Upper and lower connections are formed between the lifting truss and the deck package at respective upper and lower elevational positions.
Power is provided, preferably in the form of a winch mounted on the barge for changing the length of the variable length member of the truss so that elevational position of the deck package with respect to t he barge can be varied such as during a lowering of the deck package to the jacket foundation.
In the method of the present invention, the multi-ton deck package is first transported on a transport barge to the site where it will eventually assist in the drilling oil and/or production of a well.
In the preferred embodiment, a lifting assembly is attached to the deck package on generally opposite sides of the deck package and at upper and lower positions.
One element of the truss-like lifting assembly preferably includes a moveable portion which has a variable length. In the preferred embodiment, the movable portion is a winch powered cable which can be extended or retracted between the lift barge and the deck package being lifted.
In the preferred embodiment, two lift barges support respectively a pair of truss-like lifting assemblies which in combination with the deck package form an overall truss arrangement. That is, the deck package itself forms a portion of the truss during the lift, and may carry both compression and tension loads.
The truss-like lifting assemblies thus support the deck package and elevate it above the surface of the transport barge so that the transport barge can be removed as a support for a deck package. This allows the deck package to be placed vertically above the jacket and aligned with the jacket so that the deck package can be placed upon the jacket by lowering.
With the present invention, this allows a dimensional change in the cross-sectional configuration of the truss with respect to a vertical cross section of the truss and provides a means of raising and lowering the deck package.
As an improvement, the present invention provides a quick release arrangement that allows the lifting barges and the lifting boom attached thereto to very quickly attach to or disengage from the deck package being lifted.
The present invention allows a very quick connection to be formed between the multi-ton prefabricated deck package and the variable dimension truss assembly supported upon the barges.
The present invention allows a quick disconnect of the prefabricated multi-ton deck package and the lifting boom portion of the variable dimension truss as soon as the deck package has been properly placed upon the jacket.
An improvement in the method of the present invention involves the use of quick connect fittings that attach the diagonally extending lifting boom portion of the present invention to an upper connection with the deck package being lifted.
The present invention provides an improved boom arrangement that includes a three dimensional lifting boom having a generally "A-frame" shape.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
For a further understanding of the nature and objects of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which like parts are given like reference numerals, and wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention illustrating the deck package being supported in an elevated position above the jacket to which the platform will be attached;
FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention immediately prior to placement of the deck package on jacket;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention illustrating the deck package in an assembled, installed position upon the jacket and showing a disengaged position of the lifting booms and deck package;
FIG. 4 is a partial elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention illustrating the barge, lifting boom, winches, backstay and cable rigging for one barge;
FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention illustrating a portion of rigging;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view of the preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention illustrating the lifting boom portion thereof;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view illustrating a portion of the lifting boom of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary top view of the preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention illustrating the spreader plate portion;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary side view of the spreader plate of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary side view illustrating the bell connector portion thereof;
FIG. 11 is a top view of the bell connector of FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is an end view of the bell connector of FIG. 10;
FIG. 13 is an elevational view of an alternate embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;
FIG. 14 is an elevational view of a second alternate embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention;
FIG. 15 is a side elevational view of the second embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention; and
FIG. 16 is a front elevational view of the second embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention showing the optional stop used to rigidify the apparatus if calm c-states exist.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT:
FIGS. 1-3 show generally the preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention designated generally by the numeral 10. Lifting apparatus 10 uses a pair of floating barges 11, 12 to lift a deck package or platform 30. In FIGS. 1-4, each of the barges 11, 12 is preferably a floating type marine barge that floats upon the water surface 13. Barges 11,12 can be standard size marine barges measuring seventy two (72) feet wide and two hundred fifty (250) feet long or fifty four (54) feet wide and one hundred eighty (180) feet long.
For purposes of reference, FIG. 2 shows water surface 13, the seabed 15, and a jacket 15 that is placed on the seabed 14 and which extends above the water surface 13. Jackets 15 are known in the art. The construction of jacket 15 is conventional and known. Jacket 15 typically includes a base 16 that is in some fashion mounted to the seabed 14. The jacket 15 also has an exposed portion 17 that extends above the water surface 13. Jacket 15 can include a plurality of columns 18-21 extending above the water surface 13. Jacket 15 can also include a number of horizonal members 22 that extends between the columns 18-21. Diagonal members (not shown) can also be used to provide reinforcement for jacket 15 as is known in the art.
Each of the columns 18-21 provides a corresponding socket 16-19. The sockets 16-19 receive the lower end portion of the deck package 30 upon assembly. Deck package 30 includes a plurality of columns 31-34, a plurality of horizonal members 35-38, and diagonal members 39-42 as shown in FIG. 4. Typically, such deck packages 30 are prefabricated in a fashion known in the art. Deck packages 30 usually provide an upper expansive structurally reinforced horizonal deck 43 that carries equipment, crew quarters, oil well drilling equipment, oil and gas well production equipment, drilling or production supplies and the like. The lower end portion of deck package 30 includes a plurality of conically shaped projections 44-47 that are sized and shaped to fit the sockets 26-29 of jacket 15.
In order to place deck package 30 on jacket 15, lifting apparatus 10 of the present invention is preferably attached to the deck package 30 after the deck package 30 has been floated to the site of jacket 15 using a transport barge or the like. In order to lift the deck package 30 from its transport barge, upper and lower connections are formed between each barge 11, 12 and the deck package 30 to be lifted as will be described more fully hereinafter. In FIGS. 1-3, a plurality of four upper connections 48-51 are made. In FIGS. 1-4, a plurality of lower connection 52-55 are perfected.
In order to lift the deck package 30, each barge 11-12 is provided with a plurality of lifting booms 56-59. In the preferred embodiment, a pair of lifting booms 56-57 are placed on the barge 11. A pair of lifting booms 58-59 are placed on the barge 12. In FIGS. 4 and 6-7 one of the, the lifting booms 56 is shown in more detail. It should be understood that each of the lifting booms 56-59 is of substantially identical construction, configuration and size as that shown for boom 58 in FIGS. 4 and 6-7. Therefore, only one lift boom 58 is discussed and described in those FIGS. 4 and 6-7.
Lifting boom 58 includes an upper portion 60 that will form a releasable, quick-Connect connection with the deck package 30. Lifting boom 58 also includes a lower end portion 61 that is connected with a pinned connection to the barge 11. The upper portion 60 of lifting boom 58 provides a free end 62 having a tip 63. The tip 63 includes a frustroconical outer surface 64 and a flat end portion 65. Each end portion 62 connects to a corresponding socket of a bell connector 108 mounted on the package 30 to be lifted.
Each boom 56-59 is comprised of a pair of boom longitudinal members 66-67 and boom transverse member 68. Each boom 56-59 attaches to its barge 11, 12 using booms padeyes 69-72, each padeye having a corresponding circular opening 73-76 that receives a cylindrical pin 83. A plurality of Correspondingly shaped deck padeyes 84 are provided on the barge 11 so that a pinned connection can be formed between the padeyes 69-71 of each boom 56-59 and the padeyes 84 of the respective barge 11 or 12 using a cylindrical pin 83 (see FIGS. 1-4).
Reference line 77 in FIGS. 6 and 7 is the central longitudinal axis of upper cylindrical portion 60 of each lifting boom 56-59. Reference line 77 is also perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis of boom transverse member 68. Each of the padeyes 69-72 is preferably a flat padeye member that is parallel to reference line 77. Similarly, each deck padeye 84 is a flat plate member that is parallel to reference line 77. Pin 83 is perpendicular to reference line 77.
Longitudinal members 66-67 each include short and long portions. The boom longitudinal member 66 includes short sections 78 and long section 80. The boom longitudinal member 66 includes short section 79 and long section 81. An obtuse angle 82 is formed between each of the short sections 78, 79 and its respective long section 80, 81. In FIGS. 1-4 and 5, there can be seen a pair of winches 85, 86. Each winch 85, 86 can be a commercially available winch such as the Skaggitt RB90 or Amcom 750. Such winches are very powerful, having a single line pull of about one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) pounds for example. Sheaves are then used to increase the overall horizontal pulling capacity of the system as required from job to job.
Each winch 85, 86 is structurally mounted to its respective barge 11, 12 with a pedestal. Winch 85 is mounted upon pedestal 87. Winch 86 is mounted upon pedestal 88.
In FIG. 4, the winch 85 is wound with an elongated cable 89 that is routed through sheave 90 and sheave 92 as many times as necessary to develop the capacity to raise or lower the respective boom 56-59 for quick connection. A padeye 91 is mounted at the upper end 60 of lift boom 58 as shown in FIG. 4. Sheave 90 mounts to padeye 91 as shown. The sheave 92 is mounted upon padeye 93 at the upper end of backstay 94. The winch 85 as rigged in FIG. 4 can be used to raise and lower the desired lift boom 56-59 as the particular lift boom 56-59 rotates about pin 83. However, during actual lifting of the deck package 30, the cable 89 is not required and is slack until time of disconnection.
Winch 86 is mounted upon pedestal 88. The winch 86 has an elongated cable 95 wound upon the winch. The cable 95 is rigged to sheave 96 and sheave 97. The sheave 96 connects to the rig package 30 at the above described lower connections 52-55. In FIG. 5, a typical rigging between winch 86 and a vertical column 31 of platform 30 is shown. The winch 86 is wound with the elongated cable 95 that is routed through the sheaves 96 and 97 as many times as necessary to develop the load required to lift deck package 30. Sling 98 can be sized to carry the entire load. The sheave 96 attaches to sling 98. The sling 98 is attached to padeyes 99 mounted on vertical column 31 of platform 30. The sheave 97 is attached to spreader plate 100 at padeye 106, each having an opening 107 for receiving a pin so that the user can form a connection between the sheave 97 and the plate 100 at padeyes.
In FIGS. 5 and 8-9, spreader plate 100 is shown more particularly. The spreader plate 100 includes a triangular plate section 101 with a pair of transverse plate members 102, 103 mounted to the end portions of the triangular plate 101 as shown in FIGS. 5 and 8. Each of the transverse plates 102, 103 provides an opening for attaching the spreader plate 100 at its openings 104, 105 to the barge padeyes 84. The openings 104, 105 thus provide a reference for alignment. When the openings 104, 105 are used to attach the spreader plate 100 to pin 83 at barge padeyes 84, this arranges the plates 103, 104 perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis of pin 83. Further, the padeyes 106 are spaced an equal distance from each of the transverse plates 102, 103 mainly at the center of triangular plate section 101. This arrangement centers the winch cable 95 and the sling 98 on the center of the winch 86.
During use, the winch 86 can thus be used to pay out or to pull in cable 95 thus determining the distance between each of the barges 11, 12 and the deck package 30 to be lifted. Further, it should be understood by an inspection of FIGS. 1 and 3, that the horizontal member 38 of deck package 30 is at the same elevation as the lower connections 52, 53. In this fashion, the deck package 30 itself carries the tensile load that is transmitted to the deck package 30 by the cable 95 and sling 98.
The present invention provides a quick connect, quick disconnect method and apparatus for forming a connection between each lifting boom 56-59 and the deck package 30. In FIGS. 1-4, there can be seen a bell connector 108 that is pinned to the deck package 30 at each of the upper connections 48-51. The bell 108 is shown more particularly in FIGS. 10-12. Each bell 108 provides a pair of padeyes 109, 110 each padeye 109, 110 provides an opening 111, 112 respectively. This opening allows a pinned connection to be formed between each bell connector 108 and a platform padeye 113. The padeye 108 provides a socket 114 that receives the cone end portion of each lifting boom 56-59. A surrounding side wall 115 is sized and shaped to conform and fit the conical end of each boom 56-59. A projecting curved wall portion 116 extends away from the portion 115 as shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. The curved wall portion 116 extends about 120° rather than a full 360° about wall 115. This allows the end portion 62 of each boom 56-59 to engage the member 116 as a point of reference before entering the socket 114. An end plate 117 extends transversely. The padeyes 113 are mounted to the end plate 117. The side wall 115 extends from the opposite side of end plate 117. The bell 108 can be of welded, structural steel construction. The socket 114 closely conforms in size and shape to the frustroconical tip 63 of each lifting boom 56-59. The plate end portion 65 of each lifting boom 56-59 bears against flat plate 117. In FIG. 1, each of the lifting booms 56-59 has engaged a bell connector 108.
The winch 86 can be used to lower a deck package 30 into position on a selected jacket 15. The winch 86 can also be used to raise a deck package 30 that is already supported upon a jacket 15. For example, obsolete or abandoned deck platforms 30 can be removed from a jacket 15 using the method and apparatus of the present invention as described above.
A first alternate embodiment is shown in FIG. 13. In FIG. 13, the deck package 30 is substantially the same in construction as the deck package described with respect to FIGS. 1-12. Thus, deck package 30 includes columns 31, 32 and diagonal members 39-42 as well as horizonal members 35-37. A deck 43 is provided.
A pair of barges 11, 12 are used to lift the deck package 30. In FIG. 13, the deck package is shown as it is being lifted from a transport barge 122. However, the same configuration shown in FIG. 13 could be used to lift the deck package from an underlying supporting jacket as with the embodiment of FIGS. 1-12. The transport barge 122 can include columns 123, 124 each having respective sockets 125, 126 for receiving a lower end of the columns 31, 32 of the deck package 30. In order to lift the deck package 30 from transport barge 122, lifting assemblies are shown as with respect to the embodiment of FIGS. 1-12. However, in FIG. 13, compression springs are located in the compression boom. Tension springs are located in the generally horizontal variable length member of the truss apparatus. In FIG. 13, the second embodiment of the apparatus is designated generally by the numeral 120. Each of the lifting booms 56-59 provides a compression spring 127, 128. Each of the variable length members of the truss apparatus 120 provides a tension spring 129, 130. The compression springs 127, 128 and the tension springs 129, 130 can be a spring, a rubber shock cell, or an elastomer. The compression springs 127, 128 and the tension springs 129, 130 cushion load transfer from dynamic seastate through the lifting apparatus 122 to each of the lifting barges 11, 12.
In FIGS. 14-15, the third embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention is shown designated generally by the numeral 131. In FIGS. 14-15, a pair of trapezoidal deck members 132, 133 are connected at center pin 134. A pair of lifting booms 56, 57 are mounted on the uppermost trapezoidal member 132 as shown in FIG. 14. The lifting booms, the winch 85, 86, the backstay 94, cable 95 and sheaves 96, 97 and all other related lifting equipment shown in FIG. 4 are the same in the embodiment of FIGS. 14 and 15. The only difference is that the equipment shown in FIGS. 1-12 is mounted on a barge 11 or 12. In the embodiment of FIGS. 14 and 15, that equipment is mounted directly upon the upper surface of trapezoidal member 132 as shown. As the barge 11 rotates about center pin 134, deck stress that produce a twist in the barge do to undesirable seastate is reduced or eliminated. The center pin 134 and the upper and lower trapezoidal sections 132, 133 provides an articulating system on one or both of the lifting barges 11 and 12 for the purpose of reducing stress on the decks. Such stress can be produced for example from "quartering swells" or other related undesirable seastates occasionally encountered during installation.
In FIG. 16, jackets 135, 136 are provided for preventing articulation between the upper trapezoidal section 132 and the lower trapezoidal section 133. The jackets 135, 136 can be used to rigidify the upper and lower trapezoidal sections 132, 133 relative to one another if calm seastates exist.
The following table lists the parts numbers and parts descriptions as used herein and in the drawings attached hereto.
______________________________________PARTS LISTPart Number     Description______________________________________10              lifting apparatus11              barge12              barge13              water surface14              seabed15              jacket16              base17              exposed portion18              column19              column20              column21              column22              horizontal member23              horizontal member24              horizontal member25              horizontal member26              socket27              socket28              socket29              socket30              deck package31              column32              column33              column34              column35              horizontal member36              horizontal member37              horizontal member38              horizontal member39              diagonal member40              diagonal member41              diagonal member42              diagonal member43              deck44              projection45              projection46              projection47              projection48              upper connection49              upper connection50              upper connection51              upper connection52              lower connection53              lower connection54              lower connection55              lower connection56              lifting boom57              lifting boom58              lifting boom59              lifting boom60              upper cylindrical portion61              lower end portion62              free end63              frustroconical tip64              frustroconical surface65              flat end portion66              boom longitudinal member67              boom longitudinal member68              boom transverse member69              padeye70              padeye71              padeye72              padeye73              opening74              opening75              opening76              opening77              reference line78              short section79              short section80              long section81              long section82              angle83              pin84              deck padeye85              winch86              winch87              pedestal88              pedestal89              cable90              sheave91              padeye92              sheave93              padeye94              backstay95              cable96              sheave97              sheave98              sling99              padeye100             spreader plate101             triangular plate section102             transverse plate103             transverse plate104             opening105             opening106             padeye107             opening108             bell109             padeye110             padeye111             opening112             opening113             padeye114             socket115             side wall116             member117             end plate120             lifting apparatus121             water surface122             barge123             column124             column125             socket126             socket127             compression spring128             compression spring129             tension spring130             tension spring131             lifting apparatus132             upper trapezoidal member133             lower trapezoidal member134             center pin135             jack______________________________________
Because many varying and different embodiments may be made within the scope of the inventive concept herein taught, and because many modifications may be made in the embodiments herein detailed in accordance with the descriptive requirement of the law, it is to be understood that the details herein are to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

Claims (17)

What is claimed as invention is:
1. A lifting apparatus for placing a multi-ton deck package on an offshore jacket foundation, comprising:
a) a pair of barges, each barge having a base that can support a large multi-ton load;
b) the base comprising upper and lower base members and an articulation joint that joins the base members so that one base member can articulate relative to the other when an undersireable seastate exists;
c) truss means supported by the base about the periphery of the deck package for forming a load transfer between the barges and the deck package to be placed, said truss means including a plurality of diagonally extending lift booms, each lift boom having a lower end attached to the upper base member and an upper free end;
d) upper and lower connection means for forming attachments of the truss means to the deck package at upper and lower respective elevational positions;
e) said upper and lower connection means including corresponding connecting portions that enable the barges and package to quick disconnect, one of said corresponding quick connecting portions including the upper free end portion of the lifting boom, said other quick connecting portion being positioned at said upper elevational position; and
f) means for lowering the combination of the truss means and the supported deck package with respect to the jacket foundation during placement of the deck package on the jacket foundation.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the truss means is a variable dimension truss means that includes a lifting boom and at least one truss member of variable length.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the variable dimension truss means includes two opposing truss members that are each pinned to a different upper base member of a different barge and which are angularly disposed with respect to each other during use.
4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein each truss member of variable length includes a winch operated cable.
5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the upper connection means is a quick connect formed between a socket at the upper position on the deck package and a projection on the free end portion of the lifting boom.
6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the variable dimension truss means includes a winch operating a cable.
7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein there are two lifting booms on each upper base member positioned on opposite sides of the articulation joint.
8. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the variable length member includes multiple winch and cable assemblies spaced along the upper base member of each barge.
9. A method for the offshore installation of a multi-ton prefabricated deck package on a jacket foundation, comprising the steps of:
a) transporting the prefabricated deck package to the site of the jacket foundation on a transport barge;
b) attaching a triangular truss-like lifting assembly to the deck package at multiple elevational positions on the deck package including positions that are at least on generally opposite sides of the deck package, and at upper and lower positions on the deck package respectively and at vertices of the triangular truss-like lifting assembly, the triangular truss-like lifting assembly including at least three chords, including a horizontal chord normally in tension during the lifting process which has a variable length and a diagonally extending chord normally in compression during the lifting process;
c) wherein in step "b" quick connect fittings are used to attach the diagonally extending chord to the deck package;
d) structurally supporting the triangular truss-like lifting assembly with one or more lift barges;
e) removing the transport barge as a support for the deck package so that the deck is supported by the triangular truss-like lifting assembly and lift barges, with the deck package forming a load carrying portion of the triangular truss-like lifting assembly;
f) aligning the deck package with the jacket foundation so that the deck package can be placed on the jacket foundation;
g) lowering the deck package upon the jacket foundation by changing the length of the horizontal chord of each triangular truss-like lifting assembly; and
h) wherein in step "d" each lift barge has upper and lower base members connected by an articulation joint that articulate with respect to one another when an undesireable seastate exists.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the deck package is placed on the jacket foundation by lengthening the variable length lifting assembly portion.
11. The method of claim 9, wherein the truss-like lifting assembly lowers the deck package during placement of the deck package on the jacket foundation.
12. The method of claim 9, wherein in step "f", the variable length portion of the lifting assembly includes a winch that is wound with a lift cable which winds/unwinds to change the length of the cable.
13. The method of claim 9, wherein in step "d" the lift barges are floating barges and the upper and lower base members are pivotally connected.
14. The method of claim 9, wherein in step "b" one portion of the lifting assembly includes a plurality of compression carrying diagonally extending lift booms, each with opposing end portions that is pinned at one end to the upper member.
15. The method of claim 14, wherein each lift barge has a winch structurally mounted thereon and the lower connection formed with the package deck includes a flexible cable extending between the winch and the deck package.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein the truss-like lifting assembly includes a plurality of non-extensible diagonally extending lift booms, each connecting to the lift barge and to the upper attachment position of the deck package.
17. A method for the offshore installation of a multi-ton prefabricated deck package on a jacket foundation, comprising the steps of:
a) transporting the prefabricated deck package to the site of the jacket foundation;
b) attaching a triangular truss-like lifting assembly to the deck package at multiple elevational positions on the deck package, including upper and lower positions that are at least on generally opposite sides of the deck package, said upper and lower positions being on the deck package respectively and at vertices of the triangular truss-like lifting assembly, the triangular truss-like lifting assembly including at least three chords, including a horizontal chord normally in tension during the lifting process which has a variable length and a diagonally extending three dimensional lifting boom normally in compression during the lifting process;
c) wherein in step "b" quick connect fittings are used to attach the diagonally extending lifting boom to the deck package;
d) structurally supporting the triangular truss-like lifting assembly with one or more lift barges, the lifting boom being pivotally attached to a barge;
e) wherein the deck package is supported by the triangular truss-like lifting assembly and lift barges, with the deck package forming a load carrying portion of the triangular truss-like lifting assembly;
f) aligning the deck package with the jacket foundation so that the deck package can be placed on the jacket foundation;
g) lowering the deck package upon the jacket foundation by changing the length of the horizontal chord of each triangular truss-like lifting assembly; and
h) wherein in step "d" each lift barge has upper and lower base members connected by an articulation joint that articulate with respect to one another when an undesireable seastate exists.
US08/501,717 1995-03-15 1995-07-12 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged offshore jacket foundations Expired - Lifetime US5607260A (en)

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US08/404,421 US5609441A (en) 1995-03-15 1995-03-15 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged offshore jacket foundations
US08/501,717 US5607260A (en) 1995-03-15 1995-07-12 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged offshore jacket foundations

Applications Claiming Priority (19)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US08/501,717 US5607260A (en) 1995-03-15 1995-07-12 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged offshore jacket foundations
DE69637813T DE69637813D1 (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 METHOD AND DEVICE FOR INSTALLING PRE-PREPARED DECK CONSTRUCTIONS ON OFFSHORE HUB FOUNDATIONS
AU50948/96A AU714518B2 (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for installing prefabricated deck packages on offshore jacket foundations
PCT/US1996/003616 WO1996028616A1 (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for installing prefabricated deck packages on offshore jacket foundations
MX9707045A MX9707045A (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for installing prefabricated deck packages on offshore jacket foundations.
KR1019970706483A KR100415058B1 (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for installing prefabricated deck packages on offshore jacket foundations
EP96907208A EP0815328B1 (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for installing prefabricated deck packages on offshore jacket foundations
CA002215247A CA2215247A1 (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for installing prefabricated deck packages on offshore jacket foundations
AT96907208T AT420998T (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 METHOD AND DEVICE FOR INSTALLING PRE-PREPARED DECK CONSTRUCTIONS ON OFFSHORE HUB FOUNDATIONS
US08/615,838 US5662434A (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged offshore jacket foundations
BR9607368A BR9607368A (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for installing prefabricated deck articles on offshore shirt foundations
JP8527855A JPH11502276A (en) 1995-03-15 1996-03-14 Method and apparatus for deploying a prefabricated deck package in a marine jacket foundation
US08/709,014 US5800093A (en) 1995-03-15 1996-09-06 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton packages such as deck packages, jackets, and sunken vessels
US08/915,925 US5975807A (en) 1995-03-15 1997-08-21 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton packages such as deck packages and jackets
US08/915,617 US6149350A (en) 1995-03-15 1997-08-21 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton packages such as deck packages and jackets
NO19974262A NO314047B1 (en) 1995-03-15 1997-09-15 Lifting device and method for installing or removing tire packages
US09/530,837 US6318931B1 (en) 1995-03-15 1998-08-31 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton packages such as deck packages and jackets
US09/454,733 US6367399B1 (en) 1995-03-15 1999-12-06 Method and apparatus for modifying new or existing marine platforms
US09/718,304 US6364574B1 (en) 1995-03-15 2000-11-21 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton packages such as deck packages and jackets

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US08/501,717 Expired - Lifetime US5607260A (en) 1995-03-15 1995-07-12 Method and apparatus for the offshore installation of multi-ton prefabricated deck packages on partially submerged offshore jacket foundations

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US5609441A (en) 1997-03-11

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